Tuesday, October 01, 2002

COLLINGWOOD FANS have been going through pain in the last few days. One fan has had an injury to go with the insult.

Monday, September 30, 2002

PEOPLE WHO don't follow sports cannot understand how crushing it usually is when your team loses an important game. And even people who do follow sports might struggle to understand the reaction in Melbourne to Collingwood's loss.

It's a kind of ecstatic despair. Collingwood fans remained at the MCG long after the Grand Final ended (rather than quickly leave, as is traditional for followers of losing teams). They've called radio talk shows and flooded newspaper letters pages with praise for their defeated players. Distraught about losing to Brisbane, they are proud beyond measure of Collingwood's performance.

Here's why: against the best team in the AFL, Collingwood – written off by almost every commentator in the land – came within nine points of winning. More important than the score was that few failures of skill (and no failures of will) were evident. It was heroic.

As was, for that matter, Brisbane's effort in resisting Collingwood. Brisbane, it may quickly be forgotten, were playing with only one ruckman after the first quarter, and were at the MCG for only the third time this season, in wet, slimy conditions that cannot have been to their advantage. As well, umpiring decisions favoured Collingwood, yet still Brisbane prevailed.

The miracle of 2002 might not be Collingwood's near-win, but Brisbane's actual win. Given similar injury problems and arena disadvantages, no other team in the AFL could have halted Collingwood; likewise, no other team than Collingwood could have pushed Brisbane as hard.

Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse's extraordinary reaction to the defeat was in keeping with an extraordinary day. Very rarely in elite sports does a team play so well yet still lose – and to a deserving victor.

Collingwood proved that there can be victory (of a kind) in defeat. I feel privileged to be among the team's supporters. They'll have earned many more after Saturday.

Sunday, September 29, 2002

THE PRIDE OF BRISBANE TOWN have saved the nation from a rampage of Collingwood fans making a disgrace of themselves.

The game itself was magnificent- the inclement weather prevented the Brisbane Lions from running away with it, and Collingwood's hardness of body and mind was awesome. However, the Lions proved themselves to be the strongest side since the Hawthorn Express of the late 1980's.

My Match Highlights?
Keating's stellar performance in the ruck for Brisbane after Beau McDonald went off early.
Nathan Buckley and Michael Voss. Captains with a capital C.
The gun forwards, Rocca and Lynch.
Ferocious tackling.
Mickey crying.

Maulthouse proud of Collingwood.

"We are now a great team"

Buckley wins the Norm Smith Medal

Both sides complain about the umpires. Brisbane- Collingwood

Saturday, September 28, 2002

TIM BLAIR AND GARETH PARKER are in Melbourne ready for the big game- so I'm manning the decks here online. Hopefully all set for a ten goal thrashing of Collingwood. Mr Parker promises a full match report, and if Mr Blair can be coaxed into writing a few words, we'll post that too.

Of course, if Collingwood win, he won't need any coaxing.

Anyway, I'm off to watch the Fox Footy Channell Grand Final marathon. Go Brisbane!

Thursday, September 26, 2002

THE AFL have really lost the plot with this year’s Grand Final entertainment.

I applauded them a few weeks ago for re-introducing the Grand Final sprint and kicking comp.

But these worthy activities have taken a back seat to performers who have little or no connection with footy.

Take Killing Heidi for example, a band fronted by a pair of anaemic pin cushions who as young ’uns would rather stay indoors and listen to the hippy music of their parents than kick a footy around in the invigorating, fresh country air of their home town:

“Their interest in music began early - one gets the sense that the after-school alternatives, football and netball, left them cold.”

Then there’s The Whitlams, a Sydney band who take their name from our worst ever Prime Minister, a band who sing songs about exterminating the average footy fan’s favourite punting vice.

Next they have Mark Seymour, a whiny dud who once protested against the Formula One Grand Prix but did a remarkable back flip when the price was right.

He of the remarkable about-face is now singing a song which, according to the AFL website, “was not penned about football”.

And last, but by no means least worthy of this rabble of half-baked "musos" (and I write that with the utter contempt that one is entitled to have when one can nail every single one of Ace Frehley's solos from KISS Alive and KISS Alive II), there is Kate Ceberano, a fruitcake devotee of a nutty religion.

Surely the AFL shouldn’t be embracing a heretic who dares follow anything but the one true religion?

When is a decent band like TISM going to get a gig at the AFL Grand Final?

By Jiminey, their lead singer is even named after an Aussie Rules legend!

Wednesday, September 25, 2002

EVER WONDERED what Tim Blair is REALLY like? Leapin Larry L gives this classic description of the Collingwood fan-
"The television coverage on Saturday afternoon offered compelling evidence of how crazy Pie-Wood fans are. Every last one of them from eight to 80 had the “nobody home” glassy stare of complete fanaticism. You couldn’t get a shot of any Collingwood fan after a goal where they weren’t giving the familiar “two beers, thanks” gesture to their nearest Adelaide counterparts, except when it was a “one beer” order, or they betrayed their ethnic background with the more comprehensive, but equally familiar, Mediterranean gesture involving the use of both arms. "

Model citizens, I'm sure.

Tuesday, September 24, 2002

THERE'S BEEN no mention of this yet on any of the wires or at the News Ltd or Fairfax sites, but apparently a colossal bungle has occurred in the production of this year's Grand Final edition of the Football Record.

All the Collingwood player photographs are - according to radio reports - accompanied by text that refers to Carlton players.

Hmmm ... bungle or sabotage?

Omen watch: the AFL had to alter cover mockups of the 1990 Footy Record when Collingwood and the West Coast Eagles played a draw in the first week of the finals, pushing the Grand Final date back to October.